Eniko Gyori, Minister of State for EU Affairs of the Hungarian Foreign Ministry, invited the present and the forthcoming Presidency Trios’ Ministers of State for EU affairs, to a working dinner in Budapest, on 1 June 2011. The meeting focused on the preparations for the Presidency takeover.
The outgoing Spanish-Belgian-Hungarian Presidency Trio shared “behind-the-scenes” secrets, with the upcoming Polish-Danish-Cypriot Trio, mostly about its experience in the daily cooperation with EU institutions. The participants made a detailed review of the disputed issues of the European Parliament (EP) and the Council, and the potential ways ahead. Appreciative of the Hungarian Presidency’s Parliament-friendly work, the Polish Minister of State highlighted the importance of cooperation with the EP, and said that the Polish Presidency will also pay special attention to this.
The reform of the Schengen system was also an important topic. The six Ministers of State have agreed that it is vital to preserve the free movement of citizens within the Union, which is one of the greatest achievements of the EU. To this end, the existing means should be used more effectively, this means the reinforcing the protection of external borders. Internal border control could only be reintroduced temporarily, in special situations, the Ministers of State stated.
The representatives of the six Member States took the view that the Justice and Home Affairs Council should declare, on 9 June, that Romania and Bulgaria have prepared technically for joining the Schengen area, and their accession should be put on the agenda in September.
The participants highlighted that the outgoing Presidency Trio have encouraged for the EU’s enlargement, and made strenuous efforts to promote the enlargement policy. They underlined that the next Trio will also back enlargement and will keep candidate countries’ admission in the centre of attention.
The Ministers of State agreed that consolidating the economic union will be a great challenge for the upcoming Presidency Trio. They said the development of the economic governance reform was the greatest achievement of the present Trio, and agreed that the successive Trio has to consolidate this reform.
The participants also agreed that the upcoming three Presidencies will have to reinforce the EU’s foreign affairs action, in order to make it more visible in foreign relations.
The two Trios have reviewed the following dossiers: European Economic Governance, The Single Market, The Unitary Patent, Financial Services and Taxation Matters, The Small Business Act Review, Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), The Eurovignette, The White Paper on Transport, The Decarbonisation Roadmap, Nuclear 'Stress Tests', Radioactive Waste Management, The Role of Water in EU Development Policy, Danube Strategy, Schengen Reform, Migration and Asylum, Croatian Accession.
The departing Presidency Trio, composed of Spain, Belgium and Hungary, started its work on 1 January 2010, on the first day of the Spanish Presidency. At the same time, this cooperation, which serves long term planning, was launched much earlier: Secretaries of State for European Affairs of the Spanish-Belgian-Hungarian Trio, have held regular meetings since 2008, and prepared a Trio programme in 2009.
On 2 June, the day after the dinner of the two Trios’ Ministers of State, Eniko Gyori held separate bilateral talks with her Polish counterpart, Mikolaj Dowgielewicz, about the Presidency takeover, which is due on 1 July.